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Virtual Vocations – Revolutionizes The Way Job-Seekers Find Telecommuting Jobs

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Virtual Vocations recently released their 2015 Year-End Report that highlights key data on telecommuting trends from 2015. Virtual Vocations is the largest online database of telecommuting jobs. Their mission is to help people find relevant telecommute jobs quickly. Below is our interview with Laura Spawn, Founder of Virtual Vocations:


Q: Laura, tell us something more about Virtual Vocations and your history?

A: We started Virtual Vocations in 2007 to help people find telecommute jobs quickly, safely and easily.

Virtual Vocations was actually created out of frustration when I was trying to find a work from home job after the birth of my daughter. At the time, telecommuting was an unconventional work model and finding jobs that could be performed at home felt like an impossible feat.

After months of spending more than twenty-five hours a week just looking for a job that matched my skills, I started to daydream about an easy-to-use job board that only listed telecommute jobs. I had a feeling I wasn’t the only person wasting time sifting through job ads, so I contacted my brother, a programmer, about helping me create a website that hosted telecommute jobs only. Within a few months, the Virtual Vocations website was live.

We have seen a tremendous amount growth in telecommuting over the past nine years as more companies realize the benefits of a distributed work force and more workers demand the flexibility of a telecommuting lifestyle.

In the beginning, we were ecstatic if we found more than 200 telecommute jobs a week. Today, we post more than 500 new telecommuting leads a day.

As the telecommuting job market expands, we will continue working hard to hone our processes and website usability. Our mission is to help people find relevant telecommute jobs quickly so they can focus on the important part of job hunting – applying to the job.

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Q: You’ve recently realized your 2015 Year-End Report; can you give us more insights?

A: Our 2015 Year-End Report highlights key statistical findings and data on telecommuting trends from 2015.

We started by looking at the data. We pulled the total number of jobs screened in 2015, over one million leads were researched and reviewed to find only the best and legitimate telecommute jobs. Out of that number, just over 93,000 met our criteria and made it into our actual jobs database, and were then sorted by job category, weekly hours, travel and location requirements, and employment status to find the trends. Some of the findings surprised us.

More than 64,000 of the jobs required some type of travel, ranging from periodic in-office meetings to regular travel for sales and community nursing positions. Traditionally, when we think of a telecommuting job, we picture someone working exclusively from a home office where travel is rarely, if ever, required. This shift piqued our interest so we asked survey participants how they felt about telecommuting jobs with travel. We learned a majority of job candidates are willing to travel for a telecommuting job if the position and employer are a good fit.

While the Top 10 Telecommute Career fields did not change much from 2014, the types of jobs that had the most listings was different. For Healthcare, we saw more nursing jobs; for Education, it was online teaching; and for Sales the majority of jobs were account management positions.

This insight has helped us broaden our understanding of what employers are looking for so we can educate our users and help them identify the best telecommute job for their lifestyle.

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Q: How does Virtual Vocations differ from its competition?

A: We focus exclusively on telecommuting jobs. Every job lead posted to our site must offer some element of telecommuting. While we value the idea of flexible working conditions within traditional onsite jobs, our services are geared toward those who want to work specifically from their homes or another remote location of their choosing.

We are a small company, which allows us to be nimble and responsive to customer needs. We’re eager to engage with our customers and learn how we can better support them, and we don’t have to get shareholder approval to make changes to our processes, services or user interface. If we uncover a way to improve our customer’s experience, we act quickly to make it happen.

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Q: What can we expect from Virtual Vocations in next six months?

A: The statistic that surprised us the most from our 2015 Year-End Report was the number of jobs people are applying to each month. A majority of survey respondents reported applying to 1- 3 jobs each month, which contradicts traditional wisdom that job seekers should be applying to as many jobs as possible to increase the odds of getting an interview.

Our first task is to follow up on these unanswered questions – why aren’t job seekers applying to more jobs each month? Are they limited on time? Do they work in a career field with few openings? Are they casually looking? Are they merely being judicious in their selection process? And, most critically, what can we do to help them find a telecommuting job?

Our focus over the next six months is on:

• Adding more telecommute jobs to our database daily
• Developing courses to help subscribers create a job search plan of action, write custom cover letters and resumes, and manage their job search
• Administering new surveys to gain further insight on our customer needs
• Celebrating our first year of “March Telecommuting Madness Week” with prizes and giveaways

We are excited to see what the future of telecommuting holds and we look forward to gaining an even better understanding of our customer’s needs so we can provide tools to help them find the best telecommuting job leads available.

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